Palmerston North Gisborne Line [4E]: Makaraka, Matawhero & Muriwai [5]: Muriwai Station & Waipaoa River Bridge

This will be our last article about stations in the Gisborne area other than Gisborne itself. We will put up a new post about Gisborne sometime soon, our last post on that station was just over a year ago.
Anyway, Muriwai heading south from Gisborne is the last station on the plains before the railway begins to climb into the Wharerata Hills. It is currently remaining open as the terminus of the Gisborne City Vintage Railway vintage steam trains, which have operated for many years on the line, but since 2012 have been terminating at Muriwai.

 These two diagrams cover most of the station. The standard facilities provided were a stockyards, goods shed, loading bank, station building and platform. At the south end is the stockyards. The track layout had a double slip between the stockyards loading siding, the station loop, and the goods shed siding, this can be seen to the right of the stockyards. This fact points to the stockyards probably being busy at loading time and the need to easily move rakes of wagons between the other sidings and the stockyard.

The fertiliser store was built about the 1970s which is interesting because that would place it at about the same time as Ravensdown built their store at Matawhero and the question is who was working in competition with Ravensdown at the time. The building remains but is not in use for its former function. We can also see the location of the station (the platform remains today), loading bank (still in place but not part of the railway yard), goods shed (gone) and a trolley shed at the north end.
So let’s have a look at some aerial maps of the station.
1962 aerial view of the south end of the station, showing the stockyards. If viewed today, this area would be basically empty.
North end of the station as seen in 1962. 
North end 1986. The fertiliser store has been built and its siding installed, but most other regular traffic facilities in the station have gone. At this point, fertiliser was probably the only traffic at Muriwai.
North end 2012. The yard tracks have been cut back to the main line, loop and the backshunts at both ends of the loop. The loading bank is now fenced off from the rail yards, and the store siding appears to have been lifted.
We already looked at Waipaoa Bridge in a previous article so this is just a quick look at the updated maps.

 1944 original bridge.

 1957 with work underway on the extension at the south end. A track deviation allowed the new spans to be built on dry land before the river was diverted onto its new course.

 1986 showing the 1950s extension completed.

 1988 after the southern approach was washed away by severe flooding, the bridge was extended again to reach its current length.